The Facts: The question of whether the retired Gronkowski will remain retired has been discussed in many settings and contexts. When football season starts, Gronk may feel differently about his decision to walk away. But will he actually come back? A source close to Gronkowski pegs his potential for a first annual unretirement at 40 percent.
Diehards Line: So wrote PFT's Mike Florio, who was quick to note that for now, Gronk isn’t thinking about football. He’s enjoying his life, he doesn’t need the money, and he’s having a blast. The question becomes whether Gronkowski misses his teammates and/or the games after August becomes September. While he won’t miss dealing with training camp and the preseason, he could miss the game once they start playing games that count. And here’s a factor that needs to be considered: If quarterback Tom Brady makes a direct appeal to Gronk, that could be the difference maker. It’s also believed that HC Bill Belichick, who has declined to discuss the hypothetical possibility that Gronkowski will return, will not be an impediment to an unretirement. Although Belichick easily could take the position that he doesn’t want to create a precedent that encourages veterans to retire through the parts of the calendar that they don’t like and then return for the good stuff, Belichick has been very supportive of Gronkowski, Florio is told. The fact that Gronkowski could help the Patriots get a record-setting seventh Lombardi Trophy makes the question of whether he’ll come back even more significant. Still, for now, Gronkowski is retired.